Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wheeler 83 Footer for sale.

Noel is for sale!  Please click the link below to see the ad.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Window Frame Mold and Installation

We built a fiberglass mold to make fiberglass window frames for Noel. 

The eleven window frames are made with polyester resin and gel coat, and they are bonded to the boat with west systems epoxy resin, and tabbed in with fiberglass around the outside. We pulled a fairing fillet around them, with Awlgrip Awlfair and then primed with Awlquick and 545 until they were blended in with the rest of the primer on the boat.  The windows will be bonded in to the window frames.  No leaks, no seams.  Noel is making the transition from a wooden boat, to a cold molded boat and associated maintenance.   No leaks!  

The plug was made with MDF plywood done in two layers. 

                                            We sealed the plug with Duratec Primer. 
It was sanded out and polished. 
  We waxed the plug, and sprayed gel coat over it.  

We laid up the mold, and then let it sit for a few days before glassing iron pipe to support it on our saw horses and keep it flat.

We pulled the mold the next day, and cut the flange straight.  

Mold read to lay up parts. We waxed it ten times with Partall Paste wax. The mat is up on rolls to make it easy to pull over the mold.  We used both 1.5 ounce mat as well as veil for the skin coats.
First part, skin coat being laid up.  The skin coat extends to the edge of the flange to make the part pull easier.  The window frames have perfectly plumb sides, with no draft, yet they pull out of the mold very easily with the flange left intact.  Polyester shrinks when it cures ever so slightly, which means on shallow molded parts you can have with zero draft angles like this.  We back filled the molded parts, in the mold with a mixture of polyester resin and chopped glass fiber with glass microballoons to keep them fairly light.  To get a flush surface on the top, we broke the part loose from the mold, but left it in the mold for support, and then ground down until we saw gel-coat on the flange.  We made one every two days, to let them set up long enough to stay straight when pulled from the mold.  Each took 10 layers of 1.5 ounce fiberglass mat, laid 3 layers at a time to keep the heat from distorting...  before being back filled with roughly a gallon of filler.

Summer Haul Out

We hauled Noel out and repainted the bottom, new zincs and cleaned the props.  While she was up we did a trial run of refastening a frame with bronze screws and came up with the technique required to do it.  She has a layer of 1/2 inch plywood over her planks, so the goal was to sink the head of the screw below the plywood layer, which required a countersink without a shoulder.  We grind a drag link socket to make a bit to fully fill the slots in the screws.

Friday, April 8, 2016

March 2016

The last few months have moved back to mechanical work.

We had a wet exhaust system welded, and mufflers brackets made to install the wet exhaust system. While the welder was here, we had him build 4 support columns for the engine rooms main deck beams.  The deck has a hatch built into it, and the support columns tie into their original mounting point. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

September 2015

After a lot of sanding and priming, we have Awlgrip topcoat on the bead board.  The majority of the wiring is in place for the 110v circuits, and we are getting the lighting laid out.
We'll be switching gears to outdoors work now that it has cooled off.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bead Board is going up...

It has been sanded, filled and ready for primer.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 2015

This months work has involved furring the walls to a plumb straight line on port and starboard side of the upper cabin.  Noel's exterior is framed in a curve, and in order to make up that curve the framing of the walls tilts inward about a inch and a half along the height of her cabin.  We straightened the interior to provide a chase way for a pair of 16.5k btu air conditioners,  Between the two center windows, we have gained a 3 inch deep cavity that will allow us to run a split system in the upper cabin.  The fir plywood you see, will be getting a bead board wainscot up to the window edge, with a molded chair rail. The upper area above the windows will be boxed outward for chase ways and duct work.  By keeping the full size sheets across it made it much easier to transcribe the line from the sole upward.  That made sure the walls ended up both flat and plumb to both themselves and the new flat cabin sole. 

Editors note:  Cell phone camera lenses twist straight lines!